2-2-17 Newz .Appraiser email scam .New Fannie updates .White House value

What is the White House Worth? Nearly $400 Million, Says Zillow

Excerpt: Want to buy the White House? Well, you can’t. But if you could, it would go for just under $400 million, says new hypothetical Zillow data.
According to the data, the White House has appreciated 15 percent since Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009, and is currently valued at $397.9 million. Were it to actually be listed on Zillow, it would be the most valuable home on the site-and rightfully so.
My comment: Of course, we all know how accurate Zillow is ;>
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New Netflix Lemony Snicket series and Realtors – humor (Just for fun!!)
Excerpt:
Netflix release of “A Series of Unfortunate Events.”
The children fall in the care of Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris), their geographically “nearest living relative,” who is plotting to steal their fortune.  From here on out, the orphans initiate a process of guardian hopping following every next guardian’s death at the hands of Count Olaf.

Read more!!

1-26-17 Newz: Master baths .Failed appraisals .$220 million home

The Rise of the Luxurious Suburban Master Bathroom
How a utilitarian room turned into a pleasure palace.
Excerpts:
Bathrooms haven’t changed much since indoor plumbing became a standard feature in newly built homes at the turn of the 20th century.  This, coupled with changing societal expectations regarding the frequency of bathing and new technology such as the flush toilet, swiftly ushered in the era of the modern bathroom.
The story of the master bathroom was long in the making. A space we now deem a necessity is only around 36 years old. It’s one of many examples of how a cocktail of social, technological, and economic influences combine to create new standards of living, and change the face of not only architecture, but how we live.
My comment: Fascinating, with lots of historic bathroom photos and excellent commentary! No comment on “master” and fair housing ;>
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This Is What a $250 Million House Looks Like
As a glut of mega-homes hits the L.A. market, developers are taking it up a notch.

Read more!!

1-12-17 Newz .New scam: owners pose as renters, 21 day turn times

Haunting Photos of Europe’s Abandoned Buildings, From Steel Plants to Castles

Excerpt: Photographer Hans Van Vrouwerf first started shooting abandoned buildings in 2010. He started with an old stone factory in a village in the Dutch countryside and when he got home, Van Vrouwerf started to research other buildings. As a committed urban explorer, with the countries of Western Europe as his backyard, he has sought out derelict buildings not only in his home base of the Netherlands, but also in Belgium, Germany, France, and Luxembourg.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/haunting-photos-of-europes-abandoned-buildings-from-steel-plants-to-castles 

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What’s the most disturbing history you’ve learned about a house you were selling?
More than 5,000 comments in 48 hours on Reddit
Excerpt: At first glance, it’s a simple question: What’s the most disturbing history you’ve learned about a house you were selling.
But what started out as a 13-word question on share-site Reddit, spiraled into unsettling long responses from tons of users, generating more than 5,000 responses in only 48 hours.
My comment: Wow!! I thought I had seen some bad stuff as an appraiser, but it was nothing compared to these comments. Warning: can be disturbing, especially the dead bodies. Be sure to check out the comments (and threads)

Read more!!

1-5-17 Newz .The Two Americas and Real Estate .McMansion Hell

FHA handbook 4000.1 quarterly update

No Changes to policies but it is always best to have the latest version when trying to figure out what FHA wants and underwriter/reviewer hassles.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) published the quarterly update to its Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1 (SF Handbook). This update incorporates previously published Mortgagee Letters into both the online and portable document format (PDF) SF Handbook.
http://www.allregs.com/tpl/public/fha_freesite.aspx  for Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1 December Update
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McMansion Hell!!
 Lots of interesting stuff. Go to the link below and look at some of the pull down links in the upper left for lots more info!!
This link is for one of the many pages – McMansion in Bentonville County, Arkansas
Cannot be described. Lots of photos with sometimes snarky comments. Just gotta see it  ;>

Read more!!

12-29-16 Newz .CHANGE YOUR TEMPLATES .Beautiful fireplaces .Very old maps

CHANGE YOUR TEMPLATES!! SET UP NEW SUBDIRECTORIES IF YOU FILE ON YOUR COMPUTER!!

Don’t be like me in early 2016 and:
– Have a buncha early 2016 stuff in my 2015 computer subfolders. I file my electronic appraisal copies, and my photos, by year. Last year I did not get 2017 subfolder set up for a few months and put a few months of 2017 appraisals into my 2015 subfolder.  NOT good!!
– Not change all my appraisal report templates, especially those pesky condo templates.
– Keep writing 2016 on my personal checks. Business checks are done in Quickbooks, which keeps track of the current date.
When deciding what to write about in my newsletters, I just look in the mirror as I am an appraiser!! It also reminds me of what I need to do. Of course, most of us procrastinate on paper files, such as for bookkeeping receipts, etc…. instead of throwing them in a box for months ;>
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2016 – what happened of interest to appraisers?
Not much new happened in 2016. Mostly the same old stuff – shortage of appraisers, AQB trying to reduce requirements, turn times and fees up, etc.
What’s new
– Trump possible changes/uncertainty – dump CFPB, Dodd-Frankenstein, etc. No one knows what will happen regarding appraisals, lending, etc. Maybe I will get a lower marginal tax rate someday!!
– Mortgage rates increase some in late 2016, but still well below previous low rates. Lower mortgage volume predicted for 2017.
– Fannie’s Property Inspection Waiver
– Freddie’s plan for fewer appraisals
– Revised FHA handbook
Of course, the most popular topics in these email newsletters are weird houses and buildings, real estate agent humor, and appraisers going to jail (not many now) ;> Not a lot of clicks on AQB changes, etc.

Read more!!

12-22-16 Newz//: Strange real estate listings, Turn times

Popular (and sometimes strange) real estate listings

 Take a break and check out these listings!!

The 4 Most Interesting Home Listings of 2016 – Fun Video

Video is 2 minutes and 40 seconds long and very entertaining!!

Can’t describe it. You just gotta see it!!

http://www.realtor.com/videos/video-the-4-most-interesting-home-listings-of-2016/943a657f-f1fc-4290-b608-fe158002f548

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2016’s top 10 most popular (and sometime strange) homes for sale

Here are 3 of them

No. 1 is the country’s biggest fixer-upper – over 60,000 sq.ft. in Texas. Price: Listed for $3.6 million

5. The cave dwelling, Undisclosed address, Festus, Missouri. Price: Listed for $314,900

10. The ‘Amityville Horror’ house, 108 Ocean Ave, Amityville, New York. Price: Listed for $850,000, entered into contract in November

http://www.housingwire.com/articles/38783-here-are-2016s-top-10-most-popular-homes-for-sale

Read more!!

12-15-16 Newz// Unique Airports, Deregulation and Appraisers, Victorians Under $200k

Beautiful airports and Victorians under $200,000

Unique and Beautiful Airports Around the World

Architecture that redefines what it means to travel in style.

All I can say is WoW!! Take a break for a few minutes and look at these photos…

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/photos-of-the-worlds-most-unique-and-beautiful-airports

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Affordable homes from all over the country (Hint: No fixers)

Just scroll down the pages.

7 Victorians under $200,000 (No tiny homes)

http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/victorian-homes-under-200k/

8 homes under $100,000 (Hint: no fixers)

http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/black-friday-bargain-homes-under-100k/

My comment: Wow!! Those Victorians in my city would be way over $1,000,000 on lots under 5,000 sq.ft. !!!


Sadly, The Appraisal Institute is now working against its local chapters by Jonathan Miller, posted 12/9/16
Read more!!

12-8-16 Newz .Beautiful libraries .Roundabouts .Sales contract amendment

Beautiful and unusual places

What are the most popular links in these newsletters? Weird properties, very expensive homes, etc. Plus Appraiser goes to jail (not many of these today), Freddie and Fannie no-appraisal loans. LIA’s Claudia Says ads are also very popular. Sorry, USPAP, ASB, AQB, ASC etc. are not very popular but I put them in just to let you know what is happening, even if you don’t care much ;> Here are two:

10 of the Most Beautiful Libraries on Earth

Take a break and a look at these beautiful and unusual libraries!!

From all over the world, including the Chicago Public Library

Excerpt:

Chicago Public Library, by SOM

Chicago’s new Chinatown library branch has no sharp edges. The pebble-shaped building is wrapped in glass and marked by solar-shading fins that are meant to reduce heat and glare. The library’s curvy, three-sided shape is built around feng shui principles and designed to align with the avenues outside the building. Inside, the two-story structure is centered around a light-filled atrium.

No links for more info, but you can google the names.

https://www.wired.com/2016/09/settle-10-beautiful-libraries-earth

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Carmel, Indiana, America’s King of Roundabouts

Read more!!

12-1-16 Newz//Funny listing fotos, ADUs, Time to complete 1004

Are Granny Flats Undervalued?

by Kathy Price-Robinson, The Appraisers Research Foundation

Excerpt:

Whether you call them granny flats, in-law units, or something else, residential accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on residential properties excite municipal planners, homeowners, and others for social and environmental reasons. They are “green” by nature because of their small size and can provide great benefits to the owner.

But they can also perplex appraisers and other real estate professionals because of erroneous perceptions and various institutional policies that complicate lending on properties featuring ADUs.

To help clarify the estimation of value of residential properties with accessory units, researchers Martin J. Brown and Taylor Watkins conducted a study to test an income-based approach to valuation of properties with ADUs.

http://www.workingre.com/granny-flats-undervalued/

My comment: I appraise these types of units often in my city. Typically they are not legal. I consider them similar to detached bonus rooms, offices, guest quarters. If legal, the income approach would work to determine the added value of the ADU. Of course, income from airbnb, etc. vs. “regular” rentals is another big issue. The article does not address non-legal ADUs, the vast majority of them. FYI, The Appraisers Research Foundation has been around for a long time and regularly publishes (and gives grants for) research papers. For more info, go to http://www.appraiserresearch.org/ To see their other research, click on Research Results in the top menu bar.

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Poll: On average, how long does it take you to complete a 1004 interior inspection appraisal report, including inspection and drive time?

Read more!!

11-17-16 Newz// Modernizing appraisals, Wacky kitchens, Drones

Modernizing Appraisals: A Regulatory Review and the Future of the Industry

I watched this very interesting live 2-hour session Wednesday, November 16, 2016 – Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance (Committee on Financial Services) Hearing.

I usually check email, etc. when listening to something like this. Not this time. I tried doing one email and lost a few comments. I feverishly scribbled 16 pages of notes.

Here are a few tidbits:

  • Very large room with speakers (and some other people in the back) and the Congress members on the other side. Empty seats in the middle.
  • The Usual Representation: Appraisal Institute, ASC, AF, NAHB, a group helping people with foreclosures, and Joan Trice. Each with their own agenda except for Joan Trice, the author of the (in) famous appraisal regulatory graphic that I put in last week’s newsletter.
  • The Big Issue – appraiser shortage affecting consumers – takes longer to close – FHA switch to certified, low fees, long training, lenders not allowing trainees to sign, etc.
  • Lots of anti-AVM comments from congress persons mostly Federal vs. state regulations. Too many appraiser regulators.
  • Each group had an agenda from its organization, of course, except Joan Trice.
  • Big shortage of appraisers in rural areas. Congress person said there were no appraisers available in his county with a population of 25,000 to 35,000.
  • No mention of Trump’s plan to dump Dodd-Frank. Way too uncertain and controversial, I guess. No questions from the other people in the room.

I will write up my full report and analysis in the December issue of Appraisal Today, including a few humorous quips, which are buried in my notes somewhere. The Big Gorilla, Fannie Mae and its CU, was not speaking to answer the AVM and data questions

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Would You Cook in One of These Wacky Kitchens?

Take a break and check out these weird kitchens, including links for more info. FYI, the Flintstone house was listed but never sold and is not on Airbnb. Spend a night there!!

http://blog.rismedia.com/2016/would-you-cook-in-one-of-these-wacky-kitchens

Read more!!